Culture

“Death is Natural:” Donald Glover Speaks On ‘Atlanta’ Ending in 2022

Although the hit FX show is making its return after four years, Atlanta will end with season 4, which has already been filmed.

Donald Glover’s Atlanta will meet its end in 2022. Although the show is gearing up for its season three premiere in March, on Thursday, FX Chairman John Landgraf announced Atlanta‘s end during an FX executive session. According to Variety, season four of Atlanta is set to air this fall.

“The fourth and final season is slated to debut in the same manner this fall,” Landgraf said. “The new season is everything you’ve come to expect from ‘Atlanta,’ which is to say, expect the unexpected. Sit back and enjoy the trip.”

On the FX website, the network offers a brief synopsis of the ‘Visitors’ theme of season three:

“Taking place almost entirely in Europe, Season 3 finds Earn (Donald Glover), Alfred / Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), Darius (LaKeith Stanfield) and Van (Zazie Beetz) in the midst of a successful European tour, as the group navigates their new surroundings as outsiders, and struggle to adjust to the newfound success they had aspired to.”

While its unknown whether season four will follow the same route, Glover confirmed in late-2021 that the series had concluded production of seasons three and four, which he tweeted ”are going to be some of the best television ever made.”

Per Variety, During FX’s portion of the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Glover spoke about originally wanting Atlanta to end with season two, but also confirmed that season four will wrap the series.

“Death is natural,” Glover said. “I feel like when the conditions are right for something, they happen, and when the conditions aren’t right, they don’t happen. I don’t feel any longevity. Because then things start to get weird.”

Henry and Beetz also spoke on being satisfied with the decision. “I was a little emotional,” said Beetz, “but I agree with Donald that we’re ending on what feels like a peak and not letting it peter out. I think the best thing is knowing when to end it, and knowing when to move on with things.”

Atlanta feels like an institution,” Henry added. “You go to high school for four years, you go to college for four years, this was our own graduation of going somewhere bigger. I am so deeply connected to these people. That was the greatest gift of doing this show. If we decide to come back together when we’re 65, with arthritis medication and our walkers, we probably will because we’re all connected for the rest of our lives.”

Last month, FX debuted an absurd ‘infomercial’ for season three of Atlanta, and Glover also posted an inside peek to Instagram of the series’ writers room at his “Temple” in Los Angeles.

“The story was always supposed to be what it was. And the story, it really was us,” Glover continued during the TCA winter press tour. “Everybody in that writers’ room, everybody on set. It really was what we were going through and what we talked about. … I think it ends perfectly.”

Glover also shared that the some episodes from the final two seasons were written in 2019 and that he suggested that FX provide a viewer disclaimer given its prophetic nature.

“We actually prophesied most of 2020,” he said. “The world is extremely predictable. We really just knew how a lot of this stuff was going to pan out. Everybody needs to know that we wrote this in 2019. All the shit that’s in there is actually just us being like, ‘Oh, this is how the cycle works!”

Season four also gave writers the ability to reflect throughout COVID, and Glover explained that the team became less “punk” with their material.

“We all got older and just went through our life. I think COVID was a very reflective time. So all of us kind of grew up,” he said. “The show’s very punk in a lot of ways, and I think we became more not punk, because we cared about stuff.”

The third season of Atlanta will run for 10 episodes starting on March 24th, each episode available to stream on Hulu the day after its initial broadcast premiere on FX.

This story was updated on Friday, February 18th.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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